Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
SEC titles within Arkansas' reach
Trevor Ezell (from left), Arkansas first baseman, Dave Van Horn, Arkansas head coach, and Harrison Heffley, student assistant watch from the dugout in the 5th inning vs LSU Saturday, May 11, 2019, at Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas baseball team can achieve several levels of success this weekend in College Station, Texas.
The No. 4 Razorbacks (39-13, 19-8 SEC) enter the weekend with a one-game lead over Mississippi State for the SEC West title with three games to play. Arkansas can clinch the West with a series victory over the Aggies.
Mississippi State (42-10, 18-9 SEC) pulled off a three-game sweep at Ole Miss last weekend by scores of 2-0, 8-5 and 11-5. The Bulldogs have won eight of nine SEC games since being swept by the Razorbacks on April 18-20.
Arkansas already has clinched a first-round bye for the SEC Tournament, which is given to the top four teams in the conference, along with SEC East leader Vanderbilt, Georgia and Mississippi State.
A sweep of the Aggies (34-18-1, 14-12-1) would give the Razorbacks a tie for their best SEC record ever (22-8) set in 1999.
Arkansas will have to finish a game ahead of Vanderbilt to claim the top seed for the tournament in Hoover, Ala., as the Hogs lost two of three to the Commodores on April 12-14 in Nashville, Tenn. Vanderbilt finishes with a three-game series at Kentucky.
The Razorbacks would be seeded ahead of Mississippi State if the teams finish in a tie. The Bulldogs wrap up the regular season with a home set against South Carolina, which is battling Alabama and Kentucky for the final spot in Hoover. All three teams will enter the weekend with 7-20 SEC records.
Georgia (39-14, 18-9), also in contention for the SEC title, hosts Alabama this weekend.
Arkansas has won 18-plus SEC games each of the past three seasons. The Razorbacks have won or tied for the SEC title twice (1999, 2004), and they won or shared the SEC West crown three other times (2007, 2011 and 2018).
Sports on 05/13/2019
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.